How to Be (both) a Dreamer and a Doer!

How to Be (both) a Dreamer and a Doer!

How to Be (both) a Dreamer and a Doer!

1600 1200 Hugo Gonçalves

Surely you have come aross with some people who you consider geniouses and visionaries: they see things in a different way by applying criteria and parameters out of the ordinary. They’re disruptive . They have an intense and volatile creativity and act according to a philosophy of constant search for something better. But when it comes to do things, define the steps in order to act, choose what resources will be needed, which date to put in the dream, their spontaneity and fluidity disappears.

On the other hand, we all have in our network of friends, colleagues and professionals superstar people in the planning and execution stages and activities. Contacts, phone calls, activities, time management, setting tasks and distributing them, documentation and promotion of things are tasks and challenges those people “eat for breakfast,” but when they are encouraged to take a more creative input, to suggest changes or opportunities for improvement and even when asked which are their dreams, here too the “chakras” are blocked.

In the eternal battle between innovation and execution, none of these can win. For our professional success and consequent sustainability of organizations or projects to which we belong, we have to be at least competent in both.

The keywords here are freedom and control.
Some of us want freedom and independence in all levels of our life. On many occasions we truly accept our ideas and dreams in a inner perspective, but we have some internal conflicts in defending them before others. There are still cases where creativity is purely theoretical and eventually individualistic and where the idea or new possibility becomes itself as unique and untouchable, losing space and time to materialize. Many entrepreneurs and innovators from all around the world have some kind of business idea that doesn’t work simply because they are so emotionally attached to the idea that they don’t listen to any advice, suggestion or upgrade on how to convert that dream into reality.

For others, the reality is only what they can control. The will to implement, coordinate and validate things does not necessarily come from a direct relationship between these activities and the results. People just want to be in control and that’s fine too. Thinking of new possibilities, dreaming and such “odd” things trigger an internal alarm that take us back to “down to Earth” mode.

The solution is only one: Move – On and Foward!

With a creative energy and an implementation structure that we can live with. It makes sense that we can move in a mental and emotional spectrum and wander between pure logic and emotion and hope.

In my “travels” looking for new approaches and tools for the Development and Performance of People and Business, I’ve found a nice infographic which translates in a very objective and intuitively fashion a way so we can get the best of both worlds: Creating and Dreaming Big and Run and Execute even Better. Credits for Bruce Kasanoff .

Let’s see how each of these phases can be implemented in order to reach a path of balance between the Dream and Execution. Each phase is not as obvious as its name suggests and implies some paradigm shifts and consciousness conflict | internal commitments:

1. INNOVATE
2. BE CURIOUS
3. COMMUNICATE AND LISTEN
4. RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
5. PERSISTENCE AND RESILIENCE
6. PLANNING AND DO
7. Persistence and resilience in Loop – Change Strategy, not the Goal.

INNOVATE
I choose the words dream, possibility, something better that has impact on People and Organizations. Phrases like “but that is not what the history, data  and the results have shown us in recent years” and “has always been like that” will have to be excluded from this and future phases. The only argument I have is that all data in the immediately preceding years and months before the economic crisis did not point anything too dangerous or problematic. The superpowers of dreams and possibilities usually arise when you decide to go back to being ….

CURIOUS AND OPEN TO NEW POSSIBILITIES (GENERATED BY OTHERS)
I am a professional curious. Part of my job is to look contexts, subjects, methodologies that have nothing to do with each other and try to place them in a puzzle where all can contribute to the development of the potential of People and Organizations and deployment of this potential into Performance. Being curious also means being attentive and really care for what’s going on around me, looking for the subtle, the strangest, the fringe or what is still viewed with suspicion. In a paradox manner, to be curious you need to be focused and it usually comes when you…

COMMUNICATE AND LISTEN
For me, one of the most complete, intense and rewarding things is to talk to someone with a curious mind and dreamy emotions. There are minds and personalities that are sexy, that I have no doubt. Communicating and sharing, it’s part of our DNA , but only in recent years are rediscovering that human touch superpower to engage and listen to people (note: listening is quite different from hearing). This active listening has two advantages – allow us to learn something new with someone that has the experience, knowledge or perspective and at the same time give space so people feel comfortable sharing what they consider important, crazy and even stranger . The result is that there will be even more shares, exchanges of views and mutual learning. All on the basis of acceptance of the framework of the other. I do not agree with everything that some people who I like and respect say, nut I quite appreciate  the share and the possibility to comment, share my vision and ultimately, we all are right. At this stage it fosters …

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Active listening fosters respect and the opportunity of two views of the same subject blend into a third view even more complete and objective. We are open to constructive criticism and suggestions, which is the utmost proof of respect which we can give to the person (s) that are in fornt of us. Bonding is a word that aptly describes this concept of connection and here’s a simple example – I have a Circle of Trust, composed not only by friends but by colleagues and professionals from different areas, depending on the context, I turn to their opinion, suggestions and in some situations I ask them to “confront” me to see if I’m influenced by any kind of blindspots created by inner perceptions and biases. The decision is always individual, but it becomes more robust as it is informed and built with help from people I trust. And in this situation we can give ourselves the luxury of being …

PERSISTENT AND RESILIENT
The energy that fuels the Move On, Move Foward approach will always be the Purpose of the idea, dream, or new possibility. Purpose was created in the earlier stages. I believe that for all our dreams and challenges we are the creators and owners the best solutions and decisions. We have to bring them to our consciousness. The Self and Purpose are the energy that makes us move and act. Because in less stable times, knowing who we are and which are our strengths and energies is the true solid rock. When we know who we are, the more likely we are aware of our potential, skills and opportunities for improvement or things that must be changed. And therefore we are prepared to ….

PLAN AND DO
Here, we have to be more focused in activities, tasks and smart objectives. Only through this step new possibilities are materialized. Specifics are key! One tool that may help to plan a fantastic execution and performance is 5W2H1M:

  • What – What activities do I have to perform to materialize this idea or possibility?
  • Why – Why the list of activities I’ve created in the previous point is important? What is the purpose of carrying out these activities?
  • Who – Who does it? I have to do everything? Which are my competences and skills gaps? Is there someone who can help me?
  • When -When do I have to start? How long it will take to execute those planned activities? Which are my deadlines?
  • Where – If this is the case, where can I develop this idea and design? At the  company, at home, in a co-office, a terrace, beach, park, etc.?
  • How – How can I perform all these activities and steps?
  • How Much – what kind of investment – time, energy, wear, €€ /$$ is needed?
  • Metrics – What metrics/kpi’s  will allow me to understand if I’m on the right path in order to achieve the results I want?

Note: if there is not one Why for each What, go back and start again!

There is no room for ethereal and vague ideas at this stage.
There is no room for rigid logical processes.
The key to achieve innovation and execution success in parallel and without friction is knowing what you are doing right here, right know.

When it’s time to dream big, set aside biases and and judgments (in relation to yourself and others). When it’s time to do, you need to focus intensely on the details. In between, recognize that effective communication and strong human relationships drive success at both ends of the spectrum.

Thanks for listening! Thanks for sharing!

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